Creating America: Reading and Writing Arguments / Edition 4

Creating America: Reading and Writing Arguments / Edition 4

by Joyce P. Moser, Ann Watters

Thematic argument reader with rhetoric (writing guide) on arguments presents selections and images that depict the political and social changes in America from the Revolutionary War to the twenty-first century. Its argumentative focus will teach readers how to persuade others through written words and visual ideas. High Interest topics

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Thematic argument reader with rhetoric (writing guide) on arguments presents selections and images that depict the political and social changes in America from the Revolutionary War to the twenty-first century. Its argumentative focus will teach readers how to persuade others through written words and visual ideas. High Interest topics including27 new essays, 4 films, and 10 advertisements/pieces of art; information on visual arguments and online research; an in-depth examination of one country's culture within a range of cultures over time. For persuasive writers.

Product Details

Publication date:
Edition description:
New Edition
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6.00(w) x 8.80(h) x 1.50(d)

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. Arguments in American Cultures.

Reading American Cultures.


Persuasion in American Cultures.

Chapter 2. The Art and Craft of Persuasion.

Persuasion and Audience.

Rhetor and Audience. Audiences and Cultures. Audiences from Other Times. Audiences and Appeals: Ethos, Pathos, and Logos. Errors in Logic. Understanding Persuasion in Practice.

Persuasion in Diverse Genres.

Essays. Fiction and Poetry. Legal Cases. Visual Rhetoric. Films. Analyzing an Image.

Student Essay on Visual Persuasion: “Persuasiveness in 'Saigon Execution'” by Ray Tsao.

Elements of Persuasion.

Assumptions and Assertions. Examples. Refutation.


Chapter 3. Writing Essays.

Developing Essays.

Techniques for Developing Essays. Developing a Core Assertion: The Thesis Statement. Organizing and Drafting the Essay. Index Cards and Notebooks. Laptops and computers. Sample essays.

Expository Essay: “A Korean Discovers New York” by Younghill Kang.

Analytical Essay: “I Want Out” by Erica Holmes.

Analytical Essay: “Affirmative Action in Context” by Cornel West.

Student Writing Process and Essay on “Hasten the Homecoming.”

Outline. Draft. Revision. Reflection.

Chapter 4. Research.

Integrating Research into Writing.

Beginning the Process. Using On-line Resources in Research. Strategies for Internet Research. Using Library Sources. Focusing the Search. Working with Source. Writing Drafts. Documentation. Internet and World Wide Web Sources.



Chapter Introduction.

Franklin, “Join, or Die” (1754), Franklin's eighteenth-century woodcut, reportedly the first American cartoon.

De Tocqueville, “Origin of the Anglo Americans” (1939), An introductory chapter to the renowned work, Democracy in America.

Howard Chandler Christy, “Victory Liberty Loan” (1919), An early twentieth-century poster designed to garner financial support for World War I.

Luther Standing Bear, “What the Indian Means to America” (1933), An American Indian's view of the conflict of Anglo and Indian cultures.

Ralph Ellison, Prologue to Invisible Man (1947), A fictional representation of an African American's experience in the dominant culture.

John F. Kennedy, “Inaugural Address” (1961), A speech that powerfully invoked a national call to service.

Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., “The Cult of Ethnicity” (1991), An educator and historian reflects on America's multi-ethnic heritage and asserts the importance of maintaining a cohesive American identity.

Jean Watasaki Houston, “A Tapestry of Hope” (1994).

Martha Serrano, “Chicana” (1994), A student writer reflects on how her identity is defined.

United we Stand and America: Open for Business (2001), Ubiquitous patriotic images following 9-11.

Richard Rodriguez, “Disunited We Stand” (2001), A prominent writer reflects on the strength in America's diversity post 9-11.

Dinesh D'Souza, “In Praise of American Empire” (2002), An essay that, as its title suggests, notes the benefits of American might and policy.

Kevin Phillips, “Hegemony, Hubris, and Overreach” (2003).

Film: Bowling for Columbine (2002), Michael Moore's nonfiction film examining America's culture of fear, its media, and its violence.

American Dreams

Chapter Introduction.

Benjamin Franklin, from the Autobiography (1771), The most popular founding father makes his entrance into American history.

Andrew Carnegie, “Wealth” (1889), A very rich man discusses how rich people should get rid of their money for the sake of their own families and the public good.

Sui Sin Far, “In the Land of the Free” (c. 1900), A Chinese immigrant family's expectations are tragically thwarted.

Langston Hughes Let America be America Again (1938), “O, let America be America again—The land that never has been yet—And yet must be—the land where every man is free.”

Margaret Bourke White, “There's No Way Like the American Way” (1937), A great photographer's ironic Depression era photograph.

Langston Hughes, “Harlem” (1951), Hughes revises the hopeful tone of “Let America be America Again.”

Martin Luther King, Jr I Have a Dream (1963), “When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men would be, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

Witold Rybczynski, “Celebration” (1997), A scholar of homes and life styles visits the Disney community of Celebration.

Jacob Weisberg, “United Shareholders of America” (1998), An essay on the role of the shareholder-citizen in American democracy—self sufficient and individualistic, but perhaps to the detriment of civic virtue.

Robert Putnam, from Bowling Alone (2000), A challenge to Americans to be good citizens and good neighbors.

Edward Hopper Office in a Small City (1953), One of Hopper's famous and beautiful studies of urban isolation.

Chris Countryman, Analysis of Let America be America Again (1997), A college student analyzes the Langston Hughes poem.

Clayborne Carson, The March on Washington—40 Years Later (2003), “For the first nineteen years of my life, nothing much happened. Then my life merged with history.”

Fannie Mae Advertisement (2003), “Our Business is the American Dream.”

Jon Gertner, The Futile Pursuit of Happiness, (2003), “It's not that you can't always get what you want. It's that you can't always know what you want.”

Film: Citizen Kane (1941), The spectacular financial success and spiritual failure of Charles Foster Kane, in Orson Welles' great movie.

Gender and Family

Chapter Introduction.

Keep within Compass (ca. 1790), An eighteenth-century etching urging “proper” behavior for women.

Gail Collins, “African American Women: Life in Bondage” from America's Women: 400 years of Dolls, Drudges, Helpmates, and Heroines (2003).

Mary Garrett Hay, “Ideals of American Womanhood: The Political Woman” (1903).

Enlist: On Which Side of the Window are YOU? (1917), An American World War I recruiting poster.

Fuller Brush Advertisement (1925).

Cartoon, “Fame instead of Shame” (1944), The famed Charles Atlas advertisement for body building.

Judge Wilner, Rusk v. State: Court of Special Appeals of Maryland, 406 A.2d.624 (1979), Arguments in the noted “date rape” case.

Thomas Stoddard, “Marriage is a Fundamental Right” (1989), An argument on behalf of marriage between same-sex partners.

Bruce Fein, “Reserve Marriage for Heterosexuals” (1990), An argument against same sex marriage.

Marian Wright Edelman, “A Family Legacy” (1992), A letter to her children and others acknowledging the power of family and community.

Mary Pipher, “Saplings in the Storm” (1994), A psychologist examines reasons why young women 's voices become silenced.

Dan Kindlon and Michael Thompson, “The Culture of Cruelty” (1999), The authors discuss cultural images of masculinity and their effects on growing boys.

Estelle Freedman, “Expanding the Definition: Sexual Harrassment and Domestic Violence” (2002).

Mike Hipolito, “Harvey Milk High School” (2003), A student argument on this controversial school.

Film: Mi Familia (1995), A story of three generations of a Mexican American family in Southern California.

Work and Play

Chapter Introduction

Benjamin Franklin from The Autobiography (1771), An authentic American genius experiments on his own character.

Charlotte Perkins Gilman, from Women and Economics (1898), “Each woman born, re-humanized by the current of race activity carried on by her father and re-womanized by her traditional position, has had to live over again in her own person the same process of restriction, repression, denial.”

Anonymous, Young Woman Picking the Leaves off Tobacco (1922), A harsh view of unskilled and backbreaking labor.

Ellen Lupton, Office Politics from The Mechanical Bride, The social and cultural consequences of women in the office.

Russell Lee, Women workers at San Diego parachute plant (1940's), American women handle a new role during World War II

50's housewife with New Stove (late 1950's), A new appliance brings extraordinary happiness.

Studs Terkel, from Working (1972), An interview with Mr. Bates, a stone mason.

Alfred Lubrano, Bricklayer's Boy (1989), A white-collar son explores his estrangement from his blue-collar father.

Barbara Ehrenreich, “Serving in Florida,” from Nickled and Dimed (2000), A successful writer takes minimum wage jobs to see how other Americans manage.

Leonard Koppett, from Sports Illusion, Sports Reality (1994), A sports writer and historian suggests that amateurism in college sports is really “the institutionalization of hypocrisy.”

Katie Norris, “Sports, Body Image, and the American Girl” (2000), A student's essay on peer pressure, eating disorders, and the way young American women see themselves.

Little League Parents, by C.S. Nevius (2000), What happens when children's sports become too important to the parents.

Howe, Howe, and Streeter, “High School Basketball Coach,” from Gigs (2000), A passionately involved coach finds ways to win.

Dan Gable, “What to do about Title IX” (2002), An Olympic wrestling champion says Title IX is hurting men's small team sports.

Title IX under attack, by Nancy Hogshead-Makar (2002), An Olympic swimming champion says Title IX is being attacked for all the wrong reasons.

Film: Jerry Maguire (1997), The moral redemption of a sports agent.

Justice and Civil Liberties

Chapter Introduction.

Thomas Jefferson, The Declaration of Independence (1776), “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

Henry David Thoreau, from Civil Disobedience (1850), “It is not desirable to cultivate a respect for the law, so much as a respect for the right. The only obligation which I have a right to assume, is to do at any time what I think right.”

Frederick Douglass, “Independence Day Speech at Rochester” (1852), “The rich inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity, and independence bequeathed by your fathers is shared by you, not by me.”

Susan B. Anthony, “Women's Right to Vote” (1873), “The only question left to be settled now is: Are women persons? I scarcely believe any of our opponents will have the hardihood to say they are not. Being person, then, women are citizens.”

United States Supreme Court, Plessy v. Ferguson (1894), “If the civil and political rights of both races be equal, one cannot be inferior to the other civilly or politically. If one race be inferior to the other socially, the Constitution of the United States cannot put them on the same plane.”

Eudora Welty, Dolls (1935), This photograph graphically represents the pain of prejudice in the image of two African American girls—clutching white dolls.

United States Supreme Court, Brown v. Board of Education (1954), “Does segregation of children in public schools, solely on the basis of race....deprive the children of the minority group of equal educational opportunities? We believe that it does.”

Martin Luther King, Jr, “Letter from Birmingham Jail” (1963), “For years now I have heard the word 'Wait!' It rings in the ears of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This 'Wait' has almost always meant never.”

Alan M . Dershowitz, “What is Hate Speech?” (1993), A famous lawyer's defense of the right to be nasty.

Vicki Chiang, “Libraries, the Internet, and Freedom of Speech” (2000), A student's argument for internet access as a public venue.

Steve Lohr, “Whatever will be, will be free on the Internet” (2003), Technology challenges our ideas of free speech and forces us to re-examine them.

Jeffrey Young, “Smile, You're on Campus Camera!”(2003), Surveillance cameras on college campuses raise new questions about privacy and community.

Film: To Kill a Mockingbird (1962), Courage, injustice, and fear in a segregated southern town, seen through the eyes of an eight year old girl.

War and the Enemy

Chapter Introduction

Thomas Paine, “These are the Times” (1776), A Revolutionary War “barn burner” calling patriots to action.

Abraham Lincoln, “The Gettysburg Address” (1863), Lincoln's concise and memorable dedication at Gettysburg.

Mark Twain, “The War Prayer” (1904-05), An ironic short story.

Destroy this Mad Brute (19XX), A poster characterizing the German enemy.

Poster, “Deliver us from Evil” (ca. 1940), World War II Anti-nazi poster.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, “Pearl Harbor Address” (1941), Roosevelt's speech stirring a nation to action and calling for America's entry into World War II.

Edward T. Adams, “Saigon Execution” (1969), This famed photograph of a summary execution won the Pulitzer Prize for news photography.

Hyunh Cong “Nick” Ut, “The Terror of War” (1973), This Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph captures the suffering of the children of war.

Jacqueline Navarra Rhoads, “Nurses in Vietnam” (1987), A nurse's first person account of her experience in Vietnam.

Paul Fussell, “Typecasting” (1989), A discussion of how we create images of friends and enemies alike through stereotyping.

Kathleen La Camera, “Listening to the Bad Guys” (0000), An American expatriot journalist reflects on American perceptions and involvement in Northern Ireland.

Neil A. Van Os, “Propaganda in FDR's Pearl Harbor Address” (2000), A student writer analyzes FDR's call to action.

Website, National Archives: War posters (2000), One of several useful websites with source material for research and analysis.

George W. Bush, Address to Congress (2001), The president's post 9-11 speech on America's response to “the evildoers.”

Thomas Friedman, “The Real War” (2001), A journalist who writes frequently about the Middle East assesses the socio-political landscape.

Film: We Were Soldiers (2000), A film about the Vietnam War integrating perceptions from both sides of a battle.


Chapter Introduction.

Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, from The Journals of Lewis and Clark (1805), An excerpt from the extraordinary expedition commissioned by Thomas Jefferson to explore the Louisiana Purchase.

Mark Twain, from Roughing It (1872), “We were spinning along through Kansas, and in the course of an hour we were fairly abroad on the great Plains. Just here the land was rolling—a grand sweep of regular elevations and depressions as far as the eye could reach.”

Albert Bierstadt, The Last of the Buffalo (1889), A famous painter of the American west give us one final look at a magnificent creature on the edge of extinction.

Police Gazette, Indian Treachery and Bloodshed (1891), “the action teaches us that if the Sioux are of any use at all they should be fairly dealt with, and if not, that they should at once be give free passes to the happy hunting grounds.”

Frederick Jackson Turner, “The Significance of the Frontier in American History” (1893), “American social development has been continually beginning over again on the frontier. This perennial rebirth, this fluidity of American life, this expansion westward with its new opportunities, its continuous touch with the simplicity of primitive society, furnish the forces dominating the American character.”

Richard Hoftsadter, “The Thesis Disputed” (1949), “It became plain, as new thought and research was brought to bear upon the problem, that the frontier theory, as an analytic device, was a blunt instrument.”

Orange Crate Label (c. 1920), A romanticized image of Native Americans becomes an advertisement for California oranges.

Wallace Stegner, “The Wilderness Letter” (1960), Why the idea of the wilderness matters even for people who never set foot in it.

Edward Abbey, “The Great American Desert” (1977), An extraordinary writer about nature in America explains his love for the “burnt, barren, bold, bright landscape” of the American west.

Louise Erdrich, “Dear John Wayne” (1984), “August and the drive-in picture is packed. We lounge on the hood of the Pontiac surrounded by the slow-burning spirals they sell at the window, to vanquish the hordes of mosquitoes. Nothing works...”

Jonathan Raban, “The Next Last Frontier” (1993), A contemporary English writer explores the controversy between loggers and environmentalists in the Pacific Northwest.

Patricia Nelson Limerick, “The Headline Frontier”, A distinguished historian's rumination on how the media have trivialized the idea of the frontier.

Donald Bartlett, “The Wheel of Misfortune” (2002), The development of gambling casinos on Indian reservations is supposed to mark the beginning of a profitable time for the tribes, but it's not clear who's making the money.

Film: Unforgiven (1993), A film with the elements of traditional westerns—hero, ladies in distress, gun fighting—both undercuts and revitalizes the mythic frontier.

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